Modeling and simulation of European Structural Funds: convergence or divergence of regions with the enlargement ?
The purpose of this paper is to introduce the simulation platform Geocells. For modelling the uncertain efficiency of the regional policy we had set up a cellular automata. An application of this model focuses on the European regionsâ€™ behaviour according to the variation in aid granted by the European Union and to neighbourhood effects. Taking into account the regional disparities, the analysis of European regions relative positions from the angle of macroeconomic and budgetary indicators, the cellular automaton Geocells allows an assesment of the overall effectiveness of the regional policy, and measures the influence in the modification of granting rules. The issue of the solidarity effort between State members and the regions, as well as their adequacy to the cohesion principles displayed in the European texts and treaties is at the centre of the debates on European regional policy. The main questioning is about the European public policiesâ€™ ability to adjust disparities produced by the single market. The use of a simulation platform through cellular automaton aims at answering the question of knowing on which conditions (of settings in terms of budgetary redistribution), according to which duration of financial aid programs, and according to which objective levels of reduction, convergence, or adjustment, European solidarity policies could be effective. Methodologically, this cellular automata Geocells is based on interrelated processes between variables (like time periods, growth rates in the GDP per head, flows of public investments) and three geographical levels (european level, national level and regional level). To these principles officially ratified by the European Commission, we have added to our model a spatial dynamic parameter: the hypothesis of the role of spatial interactions and of contiguity effects in the regionsâ€™ trajectories. Despite many regional growth models analyse the region as a stand-alone unit and ignore spatial interaction phenomena linked to proximity, neighbourhood, or contiguity effects, we wanted to uderline the role of the diffusion by contact with neighbouring regions,. For the assesment we used well known indicators such as beta or sigma convergence. Beyond the scientific literature, the concept of convergence is one of the three priority objectives of the EU's Cohesion Policy for 2007-13. After each simulation the impact of mixed policy related to regional development is evaluated by the Moran index of spatial autocorrelation. The aim is these calculations is an attempt to optimize bothly convergence ratios and what territorial pattern will be shaped by these policy choices.
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